Rumors, as draft time approaches, tend to get a little bit outrageous, but sometimes they’re spot on, as history tells us. No one really expected Alex Len to be anything beyond a top 10 pick, but according to some who follow the Cleveland Cavaliers up close, they might take a shot at the Maryland Center.
7-Footers are bound to get picked high, even if there are serious doubts about them. The best thing Len has working for him, besides his height, is he’s actually injured, recovering from a surgery he had in May, which prevents him from working out.
Just like the mysterious ways of the BCS, not playing sometimes works out for the person and team sitting out. Teams aren’t impressed with what they’re seeing from most of the big men they’re working out, having a chance to see their flaws, something Len hasn’t had a chance to do yet, and also taking advantage of teams, especially the number one-picking-Cavs, not really feeling Nerlens Noel is worth the number one pick.
Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote the Cavs are now considering taking Len as the number one. On Draftexpress, Jonathan Givony has Len, a sophomore who averaged 11.9 points and 7.9 rebounds last season for the Terps, as the number one pick. The Cavaliers aren’t the only ones excited about this guy, but there seems to be so many who can come before him at other positions.
Leaking information has its purpose. Sometimes it’s about confusing the competition, but the Cavs have no incentive to confuse anyone. They have the first pick, and can get anyone they want. Unless… their plan is to trade away the first pick. It’s hard to think of anyone being so hung up on Len to actually give up quite a lot for a number one pick on him, but the Cavs have floated other names around, especially that of Otto Porter, with quite a few teams interested in the Georgetown wingman.
Ben McLemore is another name that’s been used as trade-bait (speculation, all speculation) by the Cavs, but the the only two players at this point who wouldn’t be a huge surprise as the first pick in the 2013 NBA draft are Nerlens Noel, despite the recovery time and the development-time issue written all over his forehead, and Porter himself, who might be the most complete outside player in this draft class.
Len has a rather polished offensive game and is a decent shot blocker, but there’s something that puts teams off about soft big men. Andrea Bargnani is a perfect example for a center who is probably one of the biggest regrets for the Toronto Raptors in their short franchise history. If Alex Len is actually picked by the Cavs at number one, it might be the biggest draft-day surprise in a very long time, and a potential and huge flop in the making for a team that can’t afford to make a huge mistake going into next season.